I spent most of Sunday clung to him. I didn’t want him out of my sight. I didn’t want to not be touching him.
Meg called and begged us to spend Sunday in Keller so the family could spend more time with him. I tried to get out of it, told her we were just there Thursday night and I didn’t feel like driving all the way over there again.
But we didn’t exactly have any other plans, and it was probably unhealthy for me to hang onto his leg like a toddler all day. And, let’s be honest, we could both use another hot shower. So, eventually, we caved.
Just because we were at my parents house didn’t mean we weren’t all over each other. When we sat on the couch, he had his arm around me. I nuzzled into his side, resting my face against his Burberry-scented shirt. We were in our own little world even though my mom, dad, sister, sister’s friend, and four dogs were surrounding us.
When we were separated, we were still in that world of Whitney and Cayden. He was in the living room in a conversation with Rider, Meg’s friend from Austin, and he caught my eye in the kitchen. That one felt like his hands were all over me.
We were both consciously and subconsciously clinging to each other because we knew it was our last night together.
At Texas Roadhouse that night we threw peanut shells at each other, fought over who got the last scrape of honey-cinnamon butter, and had an in-depth discussion about what made A-1 Steaksauce so damn good. Joyce and Joey were there, sitting across from us. Mom and Dad were there, sitting at the other table with Meg and Rider. But, again, it was just me and Cayden. Just like the night we met at the bar in NYC, everything else around us disappeared.
Later that night, back at my new house, literally all alone in our little world better known as my bedroom, I wrapped my arms around him, buried my face in his shirt, and cried. Bawled. Snotted. Hiccupped. Begged.
“Please don’t go,” I wailed into his shirt. “Just stay. Just stay. [hiccup] I want to come home to you after my first day of work [hiccup] at my new job [hiccup] and tell you all about it. I want to make dinner for you [hiccup] no matter how awful it turns out. [snot] I want to watch Rules of Engagement and How I Met Your [hiccup, snot] Mother with you and laugh over a bottle of wine.”
He tried to pull me back to look at me while he talk to me, but I buried my sopping wet face farther into his shirt. He stopped pulling and rubbed my hair from the top of my head to my back over and over again while he spoke.
“I want to do all of those things, too, baby. It kills me that I won’t be here tomorrow when you get off work to hear about your day. It kills me that I won’t be here to eat the dinner you want to cook me, even though that alone might kill me anyway,” he said, trying to lighten the mood.
I tried to laugh, but it came out like a hiccup-snort and if I hadn’t been so far smashed into his shirt, I’m sure it would have elicited the snot bubble of all snot bubbles.
“I won’t even get to call [hiccup] after work,” I realized, gasping. “Because you’ll be on your stupid plane back to stupid London [hiccup, snot] and I won’t be able to talk to you until stupid Tuesday.”
“I know, I know, I’m sorry baby,” he said, struggling to find the words that would comfort me. “But you’ll be in stupid London with me in less than five weeks time! That’s the shortest gap we’ve ever had between visits. And what with your new job, It’s going to fly by!”
He was trying to be optimistic. Sure, I saw the glass as half full, too. Full of my salty tears.
“But I don’t even get to take you to the airport!” My hiccups were turning into embarrassing gasps and I knew I had to get myself under control.
“Maybe that will make it easier. We’ll get to say bye right here at your house and you won’t cry because you’ll have to go right to work,” he said, still rubbing my hair. “And you don’t want to show up with bloodshot eyes on your first day.”
At the rate I was going, I was already going to be fighting a mean case of puffy eyelids. Add bloodshot eyes and crusty snot tracks, and I probably wouldn’t be in the running for Employee of the Week.
“I won’t cry tomorrow,” I said, pulling my face away from his shirt just enough to where I could see the damage. There was a wet circle the size of my face on his shirt. But you couldn’t tell snot from tears, so I wasn’t too concerned. “I’ll cry tonight.”
I didn’t sleep much at all that night. Part of the reason was that I didn’t want to lose a minute of consciousness with Cayden. The other part was that I was anxious for my first day at my new job. Would I like it? Did I own enough work-appropriate outfits? Would I face plant in my heels in front of everyone? Or maybe I should face plant on purpose, just to break the ice (or my elbow).
I watched Cayden sleep that night. His face looked so relaxed and his eyelids fluttered while he dreamed. I fought the urge to bust out with Blue October’s Calling You lyrics, “If you’re sleeping are you dreaming, if you’re dreaming are you dreaming of me? I can’t believe you actually picked me.”
The next morning, in my high heels and my work-appropriate black pants, in the hallway between our second living room and the kitchen, I hugged him tight and fought the urge to cry. I squeezed my eyes shut, then bulged them open really big, then squeezed them shut again in an attempt to fight the tears.
I pulled me away with both hands firmly on my shoulders. He looked down at me. I looked up at him.
“You’re not going to cry. You’re going to walk out of this house and you’re going to go kill it at work. You’re going to make them fall in love with you the way you made me fall in love with you,” he said, kissing my forehead. “You’re going to kick some ass.”